Last month I led a workshop on cooking at my Fellowship Winter Retreat in New Hampshire. During the workshop, I was asked what I put in my stir fry for flavor...
Uh, stir fry?
I had to defer to my co-workshop-leader who was speaking about healthy eating to answer that, because apparently I've been to busy stuffing my face with carb-y pasta to even consider stir fry. I felt more than a little shamed.
I decided to change that last night, only a month later and after only five or six more pasta dishes. I found a recipe for chicken stir fry that I altered from The Pioneer Woman, and away I went.
I started by prepping everything. I read in the recipe that stir fry goes fast so you don't have time to stop and measure out things. I wanted everything to be ready. The first thing I prepped were the vegetables:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
2 jalapenos, veins and seeds removed, and diced
1 package of baby corn, cut into bite size pieces
1 package of snap peas, trimmed and cleaned
sliced baby bella mushrooms
Once they were all cut up and ready to go, I got two bowls and in one, mixed 1/2 cup of soy sauce with 3 tablespoons of sugar and set aside. In the other, I mixed 1/4 cup chicken broth with 2 rounded teaspoons of corn starch (the recipe calls for arrowroot, but I don't know what that is, so I went with cornstarch). I also kept the chicken broth out because I needed to add another 1/4 cup during the cooking.
When finally everything was ready, and every inch of my 10 inch counter space was used, I started stir-frying. I heated 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large skillet until very hot. Then I just started throwing in vegetables. I added the onions and bell pepper first, because those take a little longer to cook, then the mushrooms, then the jalapenos, baby corn, and snap peas. Then I drizzled some Sesame Oil over the vegetables. I let those cook for about 3 minutes and then added the garlic and cooked for one minute more.
When the vegetables had cooked down a little I poured in the soy sauce mixture and 1/4 cup of chicken broth.
I let that cook for about 1 minute then I added the chicken broth/corn starch mixture.
The sauce will thicken up and give the vegetables a nice glossy look. Take the veggies off the heat and serve over a bowl of rice.
Not only can I now answer the above question, I can now say that I made stir fry and I enjoyed stir fry. As long as you get the prep work out of the way, this is a simple dish that goes really quick. Have some rice ready and top with fresh cilantro if you're more prepared than I am and you actually have fresh cilantro. This vegetable stir fry is stock full of veggies and flavor and was a satisfying meal to end my week.